Why I Believe In Ministry Internships

By January 28, 2017Leadership

Holly and Emma“The ministry internships have opened up so many opportunities for me. They challenge me to live out my faith as well as grow on a continual basis – trying to be more like Acts 2 disciples every day!”

“… the challenge of growing in my faith and character to becoming more and more like a disciple. Challenged to grow as a leader and to apply that to my day to day life.”

“I can’t believe how much I’ve grown through the year and how fortunate are we to have Tim and Sharon inputting into us every week!”

These are just a few of the comments from some of the interns this year at Tailrace Community. You can see and listen to more of what our interns say about interning here.

Meeting weekly with our interns has been one of my biggest hi lights of the last year. 

It’s wonderful seeing a bunch of people take the plunge to intern and grow so much. It’s special seeing how they grow in understanding, in confidence, joy, effectiveness, understanding, faith and character.

Lauren at deskAs leaders if we want to see people raised up for ministry, we must pour into them everything we can. I’ve come to understand that I need to pass on the wisdom accumulated over decades of ministry, business and life experience, the revelations from scripture illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and the learnings passed down to me. These aren’t mine to keep hold of, but they are precious gifts to pass on to other.

I must admit that at times through the year I thought that it wasn’t really that fair. The interns were getting what had taken me decades Matt making coffeeto learn. They hadn’t put in the years of experience, reading hundreds of books, attending many conferences, going through hard times and making stupid mistakes. And yet they were getting the benefit of what myself and others had done.

But then that’s what internships are for.

Through internships we provide opportunities for people to learn, serve and grow in their faith and in how they minister. We provide a hand up that would otherwise take years to achieve.

Why do church leaders see internships as being so incredibly valuable?

We love to develop the potential in the people who intern. In many churches the biggest bottlenecks are the lack of competent, godly leaders. Internships help equip men and women for leadership and ministry in the life of the church.


All churches need good board members, teachers and preachers, as well as small group and ministry leaders. But few have plans in place to develop them. Too often we hope that they will turn up or somehow grow without taking the steps to grow them.

Who should consider interning?

People who want to grow in their faith, character and ministry skills so that they will be better able to do ministry. The fact is that God calls each of us to be fruitful, and to develop the potential that He has placed in each one of us.

Undeveloped and unused potential is a waste of a precious kingdom resource that God has given us. We will help interns to develop what God has given us so that we can better partner with Him as disciples.

What does an internship look like?

Different churches will do internships in a variety of ways. At Tailrace we like to keep things simple and so have just three components:Matt and Jeffery baptising Betina

  • Learn. We want every intern to learn by enrolling in a course of study. As John Maxwell says, leaders are learners. Generally we will want our interns to study through the excellent distance education  A2A Minister Induction and Training Program. Without exception, our interns rave about these courses.
  • Serve. Every intern gets practical experience by serving in a ministry area that is a good fit for them. They will also serve from time to time in events and other activities that we put on. Tim and JefferyThese activities include Date Night, the Enchanted Evening and Warrior Night. It’s through serving that you will have the chance to do ministry and learn from experience.
  • Grow. We want and will help our interns to grow. Learning and serving are only valuable if a person grows as well. And so we offer group mentoring sessions most weeks of the year. It’s in these mentoring sessions that interns will be stimulated in learning ministry, leadership, personal development skills and perspectives. In addition interns will be exposed to walking in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

At Tailrace, we are also about to start offering an internship for interstate interns.  Interns will be able to serve in their local church, study, and come to Tailrace for 4 or more weeks. At Tailrace they will be billeted and be able to video conference into most of the group mentoring sessions.

Holly and kids

How much time does it take?

Generally, an internship at Tailrace will take 2 hours study, 2 hours in a group mentoring session and 3 to 4 hours in serving a week.

What will it cost?

There is no cost other than a commitment to attendance, punctuality and wanting to grow in your faith as a follower of Jesus.

So why intern?

Sarah praying for HollyBecause Jesus calls us to more than just being be saved. There is more. He calls us to follow Him and be His ambassadors doing His work on this earth as part of a local church. Jesus wants us to serve with the gifts He gives us, to learn more about Him and His plan for us. And He wants us to grow not only in our faith but also in love and in how we minister to others with Word and Spirit.

What’s the next step?

Contact me if you’d like to find out more.


Tim O’Neill,
 Senior Leader,
Tailrace Community.